With the desire to keep the letter “e” as their browser name, Microsoft replaced Internet Explorer with Edge. For many this is a pleasant change as IE was much derided, although certainly a good chunk of the population used it because it was the default and they know nothing about switching browsers.
Already from just a screenshot you can tell something is different. No other browser ships with the ability out of the box to make it dark – very dark. It is one of the more visual differences over IE but certainly not the only different.
If you don’t like the dark theme, that is quite already, the default is the light theme shown in a screenshot below. That is pretty much the limits of customizability with Edge. Extensions are coming (a la Chrome) and when they do, I’ll discuss them. The most important thing you probably want to know is how is it to use Edge.
I must say I like a lot of things about it. It is pretty fast displaying pages, in fact according to tests I’ve seen it often beats Chrome. Even so I think it is more important whether you find the browser easy to use and that it does what you want it to do.
It has a built in Start Page (see in the very first screenshot) that works pretty well. I much prefer the Speed Dial I used in Chrome (hopefully be able to use it here soon) but it is better than IE ever had. You’ll also notice some other differences.
Tabs up top. There is no title bar at all. It gives a bit more room for the content and certainly nice to see less toolbar. Incidentally the “home” button is not there by default, I had to add it in settings. I guess not everyone uses it and in fact I don’t really just felt it made sense to have it.
A few of the other big additions to Edge is the Reading List, Reading View and Web Notes. Reading List allows you to save articles for later and once Windows 10 is on the phone, then you can sync them between devices. Reading View allows you to remove ads and some extraneous formatting to be able to read the content of a page easier. Web Notes allows you to notate a page to indicate parts you really like with colors and/or text. I keep forgetting to use it. An image is below showing this article in progress with a Web Note.
There are plenty of nice little touches in Edge and they are continuing to add things that are missing. Extensions is number one, most people want them and use them in other browsers. The good thing is Chrome extensions should work in Edge for the most part. If you right click on the arrow buttons, nothing happens – that will be fixed soon. Some people use Jump Lists, those will be improved.
Either way, I think Edge is a great re-start for a browser from Microsoft. I do not miss Internet Explorer and for me Chrome has gotten far slower (opening ) than ever. Edge is fast, displays pages quickly and has a lot of great features. I’m looking forward to it improving but as of now it is still one of the best parts about Windows 10.